Tag Archives: humor

For the Next Guy.

My mother motioned for saleswomen at department stores like the guys in red shirts that direct the jets off Naval aircraft carriers.  She had style, and what you would call panache.  As the saleswoman nodded in acknowledgement and began our way, my mother would fart and casually walk away.  I would be left standing at a carousel of pants, in a fog….politely asking the woman if she could help me find the tall and chunky Levi’s.

I thought of that story last night as I got ready for sleep in my bedroom.  You know how it is when you have out-of-town company at your house all day and you just can’t relax and be yourself?  Certain things are left internal all day long, ….things that beg to be heard.  As those things escaped and my partner ran for the covers…I thought of my mother.  Yes, Jewel…..your memory comes to me as noxious, gaseous fumes permeate any space that I happen to inhabit.  Ahhh, it’s kinda like a Norman Rockwell memory.

Yeah, I was traveling down memory lane last night, as I waited on the two Benadryl to kick in and give me respite.  My mother giggling as she ran off towards the bra department after dropping a bomb came first.  Followed closely by the time that she hit a waiter square in the middle of the eyes with a flying peanut.

I took my mother out to dinner quite a lot.  If you want to get to know a parent, take them to a great restaurant, put a hot plate of food in front of them and start asking questions.  I tell stories in this blog that came straight from my mother’s mouth, in between mouthfuls of chicken parmesan of course.  If your parents are alive and you don’t know about the first time they went on a date, or about how they bought their all-time favorite car…then you are missing a fantastic opportunity.  An opportunity to try to know them as a friend and not just a parent.

The all-time faux pas for any waiter was really just an error in math.  If you are approaching three people at a table, that bread basket BETTER have three rolls in it.  See how simple that is?  I actually verbalized, “Oh brother,” because I knew what was going to happen next….or did I??

In 2001, I took Jewel, my mother, to a local restaurant in Fort Worth where part of their thing was to have a pail of peanuts on every table to shell and eat.  That’s always a sign of a classy place to me if they give you, the diner, some physical task to perform while you wait on your dinner to arrive.

The waiter dropped the bread basket on the table and trotted off toward the bar.  “What are we supposed to do with this?” Jewel asked.  Well, I said, do what you do best and motion for him to come back over here.  With that she started flailing about (like aforementioned Navy guy).   The waiter acknowledged my mother by simply holding up his right pointer finger…as if to say “in a minute.”

The waiter was laughing and engaging other members of the wait staff by the bar in a raucous conversation….he turned his back on my mother.  With that Jewel reached into the classy, metal pot on our table…that sat beside the wholly inadequate, and evenly numbered basket of bread.  She retrieved the single largest peanut she could find and in one swift motion sent the legume hurdling across the restaurant.  It sailed at a speed where one would imagine it left the hand of Nolan Ryan, not an eighty year old woman.

One of the other waiters must have told our guy that a peanut the size of a VW was coming his way, because he whipped around towards our table.  The head whip came at the exact moment the peanut invaded his personal space.  PLOP!  It hit the poor kid right between his wide-open eyes!!  His friends fell out about the place, laughing hysterically.  All the poor kid could see was my mother, again in the background, waving him to our table.  All I could think of was whether the waiter’s spit was going to add any flavor to the baked potato that I had ordered.

The waiter came back to our table and my mother explained the simple math problem of two rolls and three diners.  What she lacked in tact, she made up for in humor and a smile.  “Now young man, I am telling you this for the next guy.” For the next guy was a term I had grown fond of over the years.  Learn how to count change back…for the next guy.  Always bring the ketchup with the french fries….for the next guy.  Take that peanut to the head…for the next guy.

It seems odd to me, and for sure to you, that I think of my mother at the same time as peanuts and flatulence.  I do get that.  But I wouldn’t change it for a second.  I knew my mother, with all her faults and quirks.  I knew her as a parent and as a buddy.

I told the saleswoman she  might wanna get some air freshener at the register, her department smelled kinda funky, like bad Tex-Mex.  I am not being critical of you I said….I only tell you this for the next guy.

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The Pink Moon

The suspect was wanted on two theft warrants out of Fort Worth. I was standing on his front porch with him, about to relate the bad news. We were meeting because his wife felt the need to call 911 after he bounced her head off of the refrigerator.

My back-up was walking up the sidewalk as I told him to turn around and put his hands behind his back. The suspect turned and in one motion ran right through the front screen door of the house…with me right behind him. He was running towards his kitchen and the back door to the house. I always hated standing around kitchens…too many knives and other sharp utensils. Yeah buddy, keep running!! We both crashed through the back door and were racing to a chain link fence on the west side of the suspect’s backyard.

You find out early on as a cop…chain link fences can hurt you! They have sharp points at the top that extend above the top bar. The suspect vaulted over the fence like Carl Lewis and then it was my turn.
My hands hit the top of the fence and the points entered my palms and I swung both legs …or at least that was the plan…over the top. I had seen the move on Starsky and Hutch, it looked like a good move. Starsky always had on jeans and sneakers though…I had on my full uniform, duty belt, and bullet proof vest with metal shock plate. My point being…..I didn’t bend well at all and my legs didn’t make it clear of the sharp pointy things at the top of the fence.

My pant leg caught and I heard an extremely loud rip as I fell on the other side of the fence. I felt instant pain in my palms and a slight breeze in the region of my crotch. My back-up had smartly ran around a neighbor’s house and was waiting to greet the suspect as he ran toward the adjacent street. I walked up to the other officer and assisted him in cuffing the guy. We were walking back to a patrol car when the other officer said, “is that pink flowers on those granny panties?”

I got the wise guy to take my prisoner and I was going to zip to the station to retrieve another pair of pants. I generally kept a second uniform in my locker at the station just in case. The need had arisen before, but it was usually when you got blood on your shirt or some drunk puked on you….this was my first pair of ripped pants.

I was working for a suburban department at the time and we usually were short-handed. The citizens would have been shocked if they knew just how few units were on the streets at any given point. We compensated by doing a lot of driving….to be seen by as many people as possible on your beat. This night was no different…before I could pull my unit into the department’s parking lot, the dispatcher was giving me another call. If it had not been urgent, I could have ran in and switched pants….but, you guessed it…the 911 operator dispatched me hot to a possible burglary in progress. The rip started on the inside of my left pant leg at about my knee and went all the way up north to…well….Canada.

Darkness was falling, but not fast enough for me. I was speeding towards a western wear store that was approximately 3 miles from the police department. The store was in a small strip shopping center that was nestled beside a residential area. I noticed 2 guys working on a car in a driveway as I pulled up and parked on a residential street about 200 feet from the shopping center and out of sight of anyone that might be in the western store.

It was about 8:00 pm and all the businesses in the strip center were closed…I was very relieved when I saw an empty parking lot. It was going to be a full moon that night, but not as full as the big pink moon that was hanging out the back side of my dark blue uniform.

I exited my unit and started to walk away from the driveway mechanics and toward the store. I heard a whistle and then the laughter came…I waived at the men. I probably gave them a story to tell to their buddies for a while. I checked the perimeter of the store, established it was a false alarm and asked the dispatcher if the owner had been notified. He had and was en-route to my location to reset his alarm, requesting that I stay to meet him.

The owner arrived and thanked me for my response. He unlocked the front door and I told him to wait as I checked the inside and motioned all clear. I turned to see the store owner blushing the same color as my ass. He said, “you know I can help you out.” I nodded in appreciation and soon after left the store wearing a new pair of Levi’s.

I finally did get back to the station that night to get my second pair of uniform pants. But for sometime after that I would catch people looking my way and pointing….giggling even. It was a small town and evidently the two mechanics had big mouths or lots of friends. And my fellow officers? Well, cops are the absolute worst with pranks and harassing other officers.

For seven days after “the rip heard round the town”….I had a different pair of pink granny panties tied to the radio antenna of my unit waiting on me. The moral of this story is: You will never be a bad-ass cop modeling your moves after a 1970s TV actor, especially while wearing panties your mother gave you for Christmas. And to answer your question: they are white, low rise, sport brief cut.